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Journey inspired by World of Warcraft, loneliness  photo
Journey inspired by World of Warcraft, loneliness
by Steven Hansen

thatgamecompany founder Jenova Chen delivered a talk on Journey, right on the heels of a sweep of the Game Developer’s Choice Awards the night prior. Naturally, the room was packed full, and Chen received a lovely standing ovation at the end. Some people in the audience even went misty-eyed as Chen rounded out his presentation with some fan mail from a young girl who wrote about playing Journey with her father before she died of cancer.

When considering the state of online multiplayer games, Chen felt there was something missing. He talked about being busy with school and having no social life, instead turning to gaming as a substitute. While in the throes of World of Warcraft in 2006, before forming thatgamecompany, he noted: “The more I played this game, the more people I encountered, the more I realized I had no connection with any of these people. They just reminded me I’m a lonely person.” Just the humble and sincere delivery of that last line made me want to give Chen a hug. 

Chen found the existent system of multiplayer and connectivity failed his search for emotion and relationship building, often due to design conflicts. Item and armor created visible, often times impenetrable hierarchies. The need for resources, like loot, led to in-fighting and competition rather than cooperative play. “Another thing I got annoyed was that people would always check if you’re a guy or a girl in these online games,” Chen added. “I wanted to see a world where everyone is the same.”

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9:30 AM on 03.28.2013

Journey kills at the Game Developers Choice Awards

Game of the Year, Innovation Award, Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Visual Arts, Best Downloadable Game. That’s 6 out of 11 total awards, and the game was ineligible for two of them (and I’m still not sure why ...

Steven Hansen

4:45 PM on 03.06.2013

Journey wins big at the BAFTA Game Awards

Looks like the folks at thatgamecompany might need a new trophy cabinet after Journey picked up five BAFTA Game Awards last night at the ceremony in London. The PlayStation Network title won awards for Artistic Achievement, A...

Alasdair Duncan

9:30 PM on 03.04.2013

Journey composer shares a text commentary on his score

Leave annotations on for this one, folks. Journey composer Austin Wintory uploaded the entire Journey score filled with official and unofficial art, all with text based commentary popping up throughout this hour long listen....

Hamza CTZ Aziz

6:00 PM on 03.02.2013

Journey art director opens new studio, Giant Squid

Ask people the first thing they like about thatgamecompany's Flower and Journey and they'll likely respond: the art direction. But, maybe not anymore. Thatgamecompany art director Matt Nava left the acclaimed studio and forme...

Allistair Pinsof

7:45 PM on 02.19.2013

Latest Sony retrospective video is all about the games

The latest and perhaps final video in Sony's Evolution of PlayStation series is specifically about games rather than the hardware they were designed to run on. Hitting on the divide between games being viewed as toys and gam...

Jordan Devore





11:30 PM on 02.15.2013

Journey's Jenova Chen investigating free-to-play, mobile

Expanding his thoughts on wanting the studio's next game to be more commercially viable, thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen spoke with Games Industry International about free-to-play gaming and Kickstarter. "[Mobile and f...

Jordan Devore

10:00 AM on 02.12.2013

Journey dev: Touch control the 'most universal' interface

thatgamecompany boss Jenova Chen believes touchscreens are becoming an increasing part of our gaming lives, and its presence in phones, tablets, consoles and PCs makes it a truly universal interface. As some gamers still rail...

Jim Sterling

2:00 PM on 02.11.2013

Journey dev hints at next game, wants 'financial success'

At the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit, thatgamecompany co-founder Jenova Chen spoke at length about creating Journey, revealing that the studio ran out of money after significant delays which ultimately resulted in the game many of us ...

Jordan Devore

10:30 PM on 02.08.2013

Half-Life & Portal Movies? Rayman Delayed? What MADNESS!

What a bunch of wacky news today about the video games! There's the ongoing Rayman Legends debacle, with it being delayed for a multi-platform release, causeing devs and fans to speak out. Meanwhile, J.J. Abrahms a...

Max Scoville

6:11 PM on 02.07.2013

Journey: Chen wanted emotional connections from MMOs

Jenova Chen admitted to being "a nerdy guy that likes to stay at home" during his D.I.C.E. Summit 2013 talk on Journey, but he still wanted to connect with others, and hoped he could do so in MMOs like World of Warcraft. But ...

Dale North



Journey took thatgamecompany into bankruptcy photo
Journey took thatgamecompany into bankruptcy
by Dale North

Jenova Chen's D.I.C.E. Summit talk on my favorite game of last year, Journey, was moving for many reasons, but I was particularly moved when I heard that his team, thatgamecompany, went bankrupt in the struggle to finish the game.

After the allotted two years in development, Journey still wasn't there. It wasn't meeting the emotional peaks and valleys they had hoped to hit. This left them with a rough choice -- ship the game as is, or go back into it to make it as emotionally moving as they had originally hoped it would be.

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5:24 PM on 02.07.2013

Try not to cry from reading this Journey fan mail

thatgamecompany's Jenova Chen shared this fan letter during his D.I.C.E. Summit 2013 presentation today on his team's journey making Journey. Your game practically changed my life. It was the most fun I had with him since he...

Dale North

7:15 PM on 01.24.2013

Journey, Dishonored top Game Developers Choice Awards

The nominees for the 2013 Game Developers Choice Awards are in, and it looks like Journey, Dishonored and The Walking Dead are leading. Hey, those were our favorite games too. Journey took six nominations as the top favorite,...

Dale North

2:00 PM on 12.31.2012

Journey Collector’s Edition minigames to be PSN downloads

Siliconera spotted listings and ratings for Duke War and Grave Diggers on PEGI's ratings board. These are names some might know from the recently released Journey: Collector's Edition, a title we saw this fall, but Europe mis...

Dale North

6:00 AM on 11.07.2012

Journey soundtrack gets physical CD release

Looking back at 2012 thus far, Journey stands out as one of the strongest soundtracks of the year. We had the pleasure of hearing from composer Austin Wintory regarding the score as well as offering our own review of the soun...

Jayson Napolitano